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UK 'becoming nation of start-ups'


Brits are harnessing their entrepreneurial spirit and dealing with the recession by launching their own start-up businesses across a range of industries, according to a new report.

Research from the Business Growth Fund (BGF) and Barclays found that the number of start-ups and high-growth companies grew in the first half of 2013, with the amount of active firms up by 3.4 per cent.

This takes the total number of start-up companies in the UK from 2.73 million to 2.82 million, highlighting how many Britons are attempting to secure the funding to start their own enterprise.

While celebrated and government-funded schemes such as those in London's Tech City are often the ones to make the headlines, there are entrepreneurs across the country creating jobs and wealth for their local communities.

With one in five of these businesses defined as high growth by Barclays and the BGF, the future looks to be bright for many of the UK's smaller enterprises - assuming, that is, they can get access to the funding and talent they need to expand.

Although the capital kept its nose in front as a good region for small to medium-sized enterprises, the Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside also performed well, with both counties achieving the greatest expansion in high-growth companies.

Research suggested this resurgence in Yorkshire and Humberside could be due to a revival of the region's manufacturing and industrial industries as the cost differential between production in the Far East and the UK shrinks.

Alternative funding is also 'coming of age', according to the BGF's report - almost half of entrepreneurs required less than £2,000 to get off the ground and an impressive eight per cent needed no initial cash boost at all.

BGF chief executive Steve Welton said now is the best time for UK business people to capitalise on the country's improving economic condition.

"We are hoping to see entrepreneurial ambition matching the increases in consumer and business confidence," he added.

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